Eindhovens Dagblad, the newspaper of the Eindhoven region, covered our first HTC Wild Break in the High Tech Campus Eindhoven yesterday. A work break in nature exploring wildlife around the office, guided by ecologist Nuno Curado!
The full article can be read here (in Dutch). Below is a (rough) English translation of the ED article.
The HTC Wild Breaks are continuing every month. You can already sign up for the upcoming events until December, in this link. Join us for a mini-safari in the urban environment, in this great location!
On a mini-safari through the High Tech Campus Eindhoven: more animal species than nationalities live there.
EINDHOVEN - 'What's rustling through the bushes?' artist Toon Hermans once sang. You can find out at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. Over the coming year, once a month, you can go on a 'mini safari' with a guide during your lunch break.
The High Tech Campus in Eindhoven is more than the smartest square kilometre (of Europe). Between the office blocks, hidden in the greenery, live up to 150 animal species. That is more than there are different nationalities walking around on the campus. One 'species' you will encounter most often: the lunch walker with a pass on his belt.
Urban wildlife guide Nuno Curado, of Portuguese origin, started his company Wild Eindhoven two years ago. During this first 'expedition', he guides a group of eight High Tech Campers (HTC'ers) through the campus greenery. Equipped with binoculars and a bird guide with pictures. Special footwear is not required because the paths on the grounds are paved.
Firat Parlatan, who has been in Eindhoven from Turkey for the past two years and works at Philips, is taking part in the walk, also for the fun of it. "It is nice to learn about the environment. I have already seen the sheep grazing here, but I also heard about roe deer. I think I'll be surprised when I hear what's going on here."
The start at the water's edge on the Strip leads to the footbridge. "You never know what to expect." Curado says. Across the bridge is the first stop, the bee hotel. Here the wild bee finds shelter in small bamboo stems. "Did you know that there are 2000 different species of bees? The honey bee is the rock star, but there are also many that do not produce honey. The open tubes are empty, the covered ones are inhabited. The bees make up their own 'rooms' and seal the door with sand."
Emerging in warm September
A little further on lies the only preserved farm on the site, now in use for yoga classes, with a vegetable garden. Volunteers from the campus have planted it themselves, says HTC employee Ingelou Stol. "The vegetables are used in our restaurant on the Strip." "Look, that leaf is moving!", someone points out. A field mouse nibbles at the green. Red butterflies flutter to and fro. "The atalanta [red admiral]", Curado knows. "It's a very common butterfly species in Europe. There have been a lot of them in the last week. August was so cold that the butterflies have been waiting for warmer September to emerge. Soon they will fly to southern Europe. Did you know that such a small butterfly travels such a long distance?"
"Butterfly, beautiful word in etymology", says fellow walker and employee at Philips, Sander Benders. He knows more. "In every language it is different. Butterfly, papillon (French), mariposa (Spanish), only in Czech and Polish the word is similar. Look it up. And when you pronounce it, your mouth also makes a somewhat fluttery movement."
Even further on, you can smell the sheep droppings under the trees. For the past two weeks, the flock has been grazing across the campus. A chiffchaff chirps from a tree. As special as its sound is, its appearance is dull brown, as seen in Curado's guide book. The wild orchids that grow behind one of the car parks will not bloom again until next spring. "See that little shed on top of the Philips office?", Stol points out in the distance. "A kestrel has been breeding there. And we have a fox that visits the campus every now and then. By the way, we recently opened a real bat cellar together with Brabant Water." Plenty to see still.
(Translated with help from www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Photos by Ingelou Stol